Category Archives: Distribution

Business Development Team – Adds Value to Buying Through Distribution

TKMNA AIN Plastics Business Development Team Is Dedicated to Providing Solutions to Your Engineered Plastic Needs.

As a Distributor of Engineered Plastics we serve many Industries.  We supply Fabrication Machine Shops as well as OEM Manufacturers.  We work with Design Engineers, Product Developers, Maintenance Specialists, and more. Serving so many industries provides many challenges, so how does AIN Plastics maintain a high level of customer service, satisfaction, good value, and keep up with the thousands of options available in engineered plastics? We have a team. That team includes the Inside and Outside Sales people everyone works with on a day to day basis. We also have 11 branches throughout the US operated by Branch Managers and Fulfillment teams. But we also have an additional team of Industry Segment Managers, (aka Business Development Team) who work across all AIN Plastics locations. This team is comprised of members that between them hold an incomparable amount of knowledge and passion in key industries we serve. Their goal is to assist both the AIN team and our customers by providing knowledgeable support. That support may include training and education, evaluation of applications for material selection and problem solving. In addition the Business Development team uses their depth of Engineered Plastics to find applications that may benefit from an Engineered Plastic solution over traditional materials like metals.

Each Industry Segment Manager focuses on one of the following industries:

  • Oil and Gas / Pump and Valve
  • Power Distribution
  • Medical and Life Sciences
  • Orthotics and Prosthetics (O&P)
  • Transportation

In addition we have an Industry Segment Manager that focuses solely on the high performance DuPont™ Vespel® materials which are often specified by Design Engineers for applications in Aerospace, Plastics Processing, Semiconductor and other highly demanding industries.  By focusing on how we can assist people and educate others in the proper selection and use of engineered plastics we have found we can help customers find ways to improve or enhance applications, reduce costs, and improve efficiency and safety. The AIN Plastics Business Development team all have hands on experience within the plastics industry and in machined parts that provide a base of knowledge they each build on. Because we work with all the major manufacturers of engineered plastic materials, we have the widest selection of products to consider for solutions.  Our Industry Segment Managers also have the opportunity to constantly add training and knowledge to their skills directly from the manufacturers and then share it with customers. We see our job as a distributor as an opportunity to make your job easier and your business successful. In essence we see ourselves as a bridge between customers and suppliers and a partner who brings value.

Meet the Business Development Team

Oil and Gas / Pump and Valve –

Kendall Montague - Business Development Oil and Gas Industry Segment ManagerEmail: Kendall.Montague@thyssenkrupp.com

Phone: 314-502-0813

Kendall Montague is a veteran of the plastics industry with over 15 years of experience. He earned a degree in Economics from Southern Illinois University.  Previous to that Kendall enjoyed a 10 year career as a PGA Club Professional in the greater St. Lous area. After that he transitioned into the plastics industry. Through the IAPD, he has earned the Level 1 and 2 Professional Sales Certifications. Kendall was attracted to AIN Plastics after meeting thyssenkrupp Materials NA, AIN Plastics Division President John Shepherd during a national materials conference.  John’s enthusiasm and vision were shared with Kendall during a team building exercise, and Kendall was left with an impression of the organization that directly aligned with his value-added selling approach. Kendall focuses on working with OEM and MRO Engineers throughout the Oil and Gas industry assisting them with application specifics in thermoplastics material selection. He has also helped develop custom design fabrications that work well with specific CNC equipment. His fabrication experience, a skill learned early in life from his father and developed during his career, is also a valuable tool he brings.  His typical focus applications include bearing, valves, and pump components found in the Oil and Gas markets.

In his spare time Kendall loves being physically active, and especially enjoys biking, running half marathons, and hiking. His passion for running connected him with a fitness group called Road Runners Club of America (www.rrca.org) and he is now one of the over 4,600 members here in the USA, and 16 other countries. Team members can be distinguished by their signature purple camouflage apparel in races and club members range in age from 4 to 85. The group’s only requirement is that, “you have a true desire to maintain and improve your own fitness.” When he’s not participating in half marathons, Kendall enjoys spending time with his childhood sweetheart Jennie whom he met at the age of 13. Home base for Kendall is in the greater St. Louis area but he travels to customers throughout the US to provide hands on support.

Trevor Drake - Business Development - Power Distribution Industry Segment ManagerPower Distribution –

Email: Trevor.Drake@thyssenkrupp.com

Phone: 248-233-5600

Trevor Drake is AIN Plastics Industry Segment Manager for the Power Distribution Industry. Trevor has a well rounded background in business and industry. He is a Canada native who got his start as a plant supervisor in the automotive industry after graduating from the University of Windsor. After completing his MBA in Business Finance, Trevor joined thyssenkrupp Materials NA where he worked as part of the finance team before focusing on Sales and Marketing. Trevor has been with the AIN Plastics Division for over 10 years.

Through his diverse career, Trevor has developed key skills that are of great value.  His vision on Proficiency, the importance of urgency, and his entrepreneurial spirit serve him well. In addition he brings valuable insights from his time in manufacturing plants. Trevor spends his time in the Transportation and Power Generation sectors, focusing on Insulating materials like GPO, Phenolics, Polycarbonates, and other Engineering Plastics.

When Trevor is not working to create solutions for his customers, he enjoys watching his two sons and his daughter develop their talents in sports. He appreciates that he can continue to do what he loves while still enjoying the climate and atmosphere of Canada.

Dave Piperi - Business Development - Medical Life Science Industry Segment ManagerMedical / Life Sciences –

Email: Dave.Piperi@thyssenkrupp.com

Phone: 914-490-1438

Located in the New York, New Jersey area is Industry Segment Manager Dave Piperi.  Dave is an expert in the Life Sciences, Medical, and Analytical Instrumentation Markets.  Dave’s experience in our business is very deep.  Starting as an Inside Salesman gave him a strong education in Engineering Plastics.  Moving to Outside Sales, then Branch Management expanded his experience.  He was particularly interested in AIN Plastics because of its leading role in supplying High Performance Medical Grade Materials.

Dave has assisted customers and led AIN’s growth by developing applications for lab testing equipment used throughout the analytical and bio-pharma areas. Dave supports customers and design engineers by working with them and sorting through the many requirements (including specific industry certifications) and providing engineered plastic solutions. These solutions deliver real world benefits that help improve their products, increase service life and more.

Outside of his work at AIN, Dave enjoys time with his family, watching his son play sports, and relaxing on the beach.

Paul Hanson - Business Development - DuPont Vespel Industry Segment ManagerHigh Performance Materials / DuPont™ Vespel® –

Email: Paul.Hanson@thyssenkrupp.com

Phone: 770-362-9712

For high performance DuPont™ Vespel® Material, Paul Hanson is the go to person. Paul has been working in the Plastics Industry for over 23 years, with experience in the Manufacturing as well as Distribution fields. After earning his Bachelors Degree in Business Finance and his MBA in Business Administration, he moved from Minnesota to Georgia to enter the Plastics Business. Paul has held management positions in Manufacturing and Distribution, as well as Field Sales and Training, Paul has a unique depth of experience in the field.  He was attracted to AIN Plastics because of the company’s long history as a leader in Engineered Plastics.  As an Industry Segment Manager Paul uses his expertise to support the AIN Sales team and their customers in the selection of the right materials for specific applications, often replacing metals and other traditional materials with plastics.  Paul works closely with the DuPont™ Vespel®  organization and brings that experience to our customers, focusing on the Aerospace and Semicon Industries.

Outside of AIN, Paul enjoys spending time with his wife of 32 years, Sara.  They enjoy golfing, traveling, and spending time with their families.  On many weekends you can find him at his brother in law’s drag-strip in Middle Georgia.  His goal is to be racing there soon in a hot Camaro!

Scott Moore - Business Development O&P Industry Segment ManagerOrthotics and Prosthetics –

Email: Scott.Moore@thyssenkrupp.com

Phone: 813-215-8323

Scott Moore is a Florida native who leads our efforts in the Orthotics and Prosthetics Marketplace.  Scott studied Criminal Justice Standards at Polk State College, but soon found his way into the Plastics Industry.  His 20 year career started as an Inside Sales Representative for one of our strategic suppliers, Quadrant Engineering Plastics.  That experience led him to promotions at Quadrant including Inside Sales Manager, Territory Manager, and Team Leader for the Power Transmission Division.

He joined AIN Plastics Business Development Team in 2010 where he focused on DuPont™ Vespel® and Medical Grade Materials. Scott moved back to Florida as the Branch Manager for AIN Plastics Tampa, where he became heavily involved in the growing demand for Orthotics and Prosthetics materials. His materials experience was valuable in rapidly growing our position in this market.

Scott has developed special labeling for our O&P thermoforming products which is of great help to the industry.  He has also expanded our offerings to include adhesives, foams and cork, creating a full market basket. Most recently Scott introduced a unique clear unbreakable material that is ideal for  check / test sockets. As our Industry Segment Manager for O&P, Scott spends his time working in the Field with our Sales team as well as managing the relationships with our National Accounts.  Scott leads our efforts to bring AIN Plastics O&P Materials online as an OPIE Integrated Supplier.

At home, Scott enjoys spending time with Diep, his wife of 14 years, and their two daughters Kayla and Kara. He also finds time to continue his passion for playing the drums, a lifetime enjoyment. He also loves to fish and hunt, and most recently teaching one of his daughters to fish as well.

Thomas Price - Business Development, Transportation Industry Segment ManagerTransportation –

Email: Thomas.Price@thyssenkrupp.com

Phone: 678-230-7944

When it comes to materials for the Transportation Industry, Thomas Price is our resident expert and Industry Manager.  Thomas has over 20 years of Plastics Industry Experience, from Key Account Management to Branch Distribution Management. A graduate of West Virginia institute of Technology,  where he studied Design Engineering, Thomas brings great skills to AIN Plastics.  His primary focus has been on Engineered Plastics used in Aerospace, but also is an expert in Transit and other related Transportation fields.  The newest of the AIN Business Development team, Thomas joined in 2014.  He was attracted to AIN Plastics because of the professionalism displayed by the company, and his familiarity with the transportation industry.  Thomas prides himself on being able to relate to the issues of his customers, as well as the product manufacturers.  He takes an active role in problem solving throughout the supply chain, which makes him a valuable member of our team.

Thomas works out of the Charlotte, North Carolina area, but you can find him most anywhere in North America where Aircraft Interior components are designed, manufactured, and installed.

In his spare time he enjoys being a loving father to his three girls, participating in competitive target shooting, and many other outdoor activities.

In the world of engineered plastics finding the right material can seem like looking for a needle in a hay stack. As an Engineering Plastics Distributor we look to add value not just by carrying the most demanded products, from all of the Major Manufacturers, but also by being experts in the use and selection of these materials.  We can also help you in the Fabrication of these materials into parts … from prototype to full production runs.  Through our Business Development Team and Sales Team we live in the manufacturing plants of America, and we are happy to consult and teach what engineered plastics can do for you. Do you need to reduce noise? Do you need parts that last longer?  Would you like to eliminate the need for lubrication?  If you answered yes, then we can help. As your trusted partner in the distribution supply chain, we look not just at selling a piece of plastic but at providing Engineered Plastics Solutions that help you to get the right plastic material for your application.

 

Scott Petrowski Director of Supply Chain Management ThyssenKrupp Materials NA AIN Plastics DivisionScott Petrowski
Director of Supply Chain Management
ThyssenKrupp Materials NA
AIN Plastics Division

 

AIN Plastics Lancaster, PA Going Strong After Tornado

AIN Plastics up and running with no downtime after tornado hits Lancaster, PA Branch

AIN Plastics in Lancaster, PA was struck by a tornado in the early hours of Wednesday, September 30th.  Fortunately, the extent of the damage was not as extensive as it first looked. The flow of daily operations was not interrupted. Orders, shipments and sales calls were routed immediately through other AIN Plastics locations.

Within a short two days the Lancaster Sales Team had workspaces set up at a temporary sales office in the City of Lancaster. In addition, AIN acquired a temporary warehouse facility just ten minutes from our regular location on Running Pump Road. All inventory had been moved into this facility for immediate shipments and as of Monday, October 5, just five days after the strike of the tornado all orders are shipping from AIN Plastics PA as normal.

Branch Manager, Terry Tewell stated that, “the team at AIN Lancaster would like to thank all of our associates from the other AIN Plastics facilities for their assistance in shipping our orders out immediately. We would also like to thank ThyssenKrupp Corporate and AIN Plastics Senior Management for all of their support and quick actions. Most of all, we would like to thank the Community of Lancaster and our Customers that have supported us throughout this event.”

AIN Plastics Here Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

In the search for Engineering Plastics there are numerous online places and several good size distributors. AIN Plastics is one of those distributors and they have recently been growing and adding locations around the United States. Here we take a brief look at AIN Plastics yesterday, today and tomorrow, and we see good things ahead!

Initially AIN Plastics began as a One Stop Shop Plastics distributor based in Mt. Vernon New York. AIN serviced the local area and provided a large print catalog as well as a special school catalog helping to make machinable plastics a part of shop classes.

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Back in the Day

The original AIN Plastics was a partnership between three gentleman, hence the name AIN. The remaining member of the original partners, Alex Gabay still resides in New York. Since his days with AIN Plastics he has enjoyed a quiet country life outside the city, but in a chat with him at a New York event last year, Alex talked about how he still loves to be able to visit New York City. He talked about how New York is a place that just gets into your blood. The “I” goes to a gentleman by the name of Irving. Unfortunately Irving passed away before things got underway, but the remaining partners kept the AIN name. Last but not least, Norman Drucker, the “N” in AIN continued on with Alex and was the hands on guy “in the pit”. In an early blog post about Mr. Drucker, it was noted by long time associate John Colleluori Norman “was right in there making it happen.” See more in our earlier post.

Since AIN Plastics became a part of ThyssenKrupp Materials NA in 1996 the company has seen an expansion into the western US. AIN Plastics President John Shepherd has seen the company through several new branch openings including the most recent locations, St. Louis, Missouri and Dallas Texas. In keeping with AIN Plastics focus on customer service each branch is staffed with branch managers, inside and outside sales staff that have a background in the plastics industry. Each branch is also able to offer custom cut to size on orders and customized inventory solutions. Additionally AIN is able to assist our customer with fabrication and other services.

In this day and age of online shopping where selecting a material is left to the customer to seek it out by way of google searches and shopping cart searches, AIN Plastics experienced staff is able to assist customers with the sometimes time consuming and tedious task of figuring out not only what is the best material, but what is the most cost effective material for a job. A little like Santa in “Miracle on Thirty Fourth Street” AIN sales people look to be partners in a customer’s business and that may mean selling a material that is not the necessarily the most expensive, but rather the one that fits the application at hand. As Engineering Plastics and High Performance Materials are more often used to replace metal parts and as machinable plastics become a part of today’s increasingly high tech world many factors in material selection are involved. For a more in depth look at this issue see our blog post on Engineering Plastics and the Plastics Pyramid.

Where can you find AIN Plastics Today?

AIN currently has 14 offices and 13 stocking locations in the US. Additionally we stock materials at ThyssenKrupp facilities in California for our West Coast customers. Thanks to ThyssenKrupp Logistics AIN is able to ship anywhere in the US even if no branch is present. For sales support AIN also has a Business Development Team that works across the US in specific markets assisting customers with material selection for specific applications.

Map---AIN-Locations

AIN Plastics Locations

Florida
8143 Eagle Palm Drive
Riverview, FL 33578
Georgia
1980 Shiloh Road
Building 7 Suite 150
Kennesaw, GA 30144
Illinois
300 County Line Road
Bensenville, IL 60106
Indiana
8129 Zionsville Rd.
Indianapolis, IN 46268
Massachusetts
110 Shawmut Road
Canton, MA 02021
Michigan
1750 E Heights Drive
Madison Heights, MI 48071
Missouri
13732 Rider Trail North
Earth City, MO 63045
New York
60 Fullerton Avenue
Yonkers, NY 10704
Ohio
1360 Boltonfield Street
Columbus, OH 43228
Pennsylvania
499 Running Pump Road
Suite 16
Lancaster, PA 17601
Texas
3001 Alouette Drive
Suite 100
Grand Prairie, TX 75052
Virgina
1347 Diamond Springs Road
Suite 100
Virginia Beach, VA 23455

What Is AIN Plastics Tomorrow Looking Like?

AIN Plastics focus remains the same as it has in years past. There is still one number to call and that number automatically puts you in contact with the branch nearest you. 877.246.7700. We look to being our customer’s partner for the long term. That means continuing to offer you, our customer,  more services. For those times you just need to place that quick order an online shopping solution is on its way! We are also continuing our educational efforts through our blog, social media and email blast from Constant Contact. We want our customers to be the most informed and educated users of Engineering Plastics and High Performance Materials out there because we know that means success with the materials you use, efficiency, and cost savings. All of those things combine to help all of us to keep our businesses growing and thriving from New York to, Florida, to St. Louis, and Dallas.

See you in the blogosphere again soon!

Lisa Anderson

Marketing Manager
ThyssenKrupp Materials, NA
AIN Plastics Division

 

_N1C1196-Edit-cropAbout Lisa Anderson
Ms. Anderson has been ThyssenKrupp Materials AIN Plastics Division for over 2 years. She brings 20+ years of advertising, award winning graphic design, social media and marketing. She has worked in book publishing, advertising agencies, printing, manufacturing, and the apartment industry. Ms. Anderson has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Arts from Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI.

To learn more about AIN Plastics visit us at tkmna.com

Keep up with AIN Plastics on your favorite social media

Facebook     Pinterest     LinkedIn

For more information on ThyssenKrupp Materials see a recent article on their history and growth 

How Sales Reps Help You Find the Right Plastic Material

Have you set down with a plastics sales person only to find your sales rep hits

you with question after question about your application? Why is that?

More Questions? I just want some plastic!

More Questions? I just want some plastic!

Good sales people will ask probing questions about what you need, but in our busy days this may sometimes seem annoying or even invasive to a customer.  If you’ve ever wondered “why is this sales person all up in my business, I just need some plastic,” rest assured there is often a valid reason for all those questions, not just nosiness on the part of your sales rep.

Some terms are standard to a market or industry; others may be subjective or open to interpretation.  Just like a game of catch phrase two people may describe the same thing but in a different way.  In this series of blog posts I’m going to address some frequent questions and terms; not as a vocabulary lesson but rather a basic overview as a communication tool to help when talking to a plastics sales representative.

Plastics-Triangle

The plastics triangle gives an overview of the basic types of plastics. For more about plastic types click here.

Plastics may often look and feel alike, but, in reality, there are nearly as many different varieties and formulations of plastics as there are uses of them.  A benefit of purchasing from a distributor is that they stock hundreds of types of plastics from numerous manufactures in their facilities so one of the things a sales rep can do is to help customers pin point which plastic it is they really need.

 

Question and Answer is the simplest form of two-way communication.

One of the best ways to identify the material a user needs is by asking questions, in particular regarding the application.  Often this will narrow down the possibilities tremendously.  The material request that probably makes anyone in the polymer/plastics business cringe most is- “You know it’s plastic, just the regular kind.”  By inquiring as to the intended use of the item (application) a competent sales person can at least direct the customer to a category of materials from which to choose.

Questions that help select the right plastic material…
What is the intended use of this plastic material?

Is the application Static or Dynamic?
Is the application Structural or Wear?
These are all snazzy terms used to define if an item is going to be stationary/immobile or if it will be moving.  The answer to this question will likely lead toward one of two classifications of thermoplastics; Amorphous or Crystalline. Looking at structural vs. wear means looking at the stress or friction a part might be under when its in use.

Friction is the resistance that one surface encounters when moving along another surface. A part that does not move, may still come into contact with one that does (mating parts or rollers are good examples). The friction may cause wear and it can also be a source of increased heat.

A particular set of properties might be more or less crucial to a given application, we do not engineer said applications but rather give you the best tools and guidance to do so!

Lin Poulin
Telemarketing Manager
ThyssenKrupp Materials NA
AIN Plastics Division

 

Citations for this blog post:

American Chemistry Council.  Professor Plastic: How Many Type of Plastics are There?  Post 2012/01/ Quadrant Engineering Plastic Products. Design and Fabrication Reference Guide
Ensinger. Ensinger essentials, Technical know-how for plastic applications
International Association of Plastic Distributors. IAPD, Introduction to Plastics, a Training Manual

AIN Plastics Expands – New Branch in St. Louis, MO

After a year or more of research and hard work to expand, AIN Plastics is pleased to announce the opening of a new AIN Plastics Distributor Branch in the St. Louis Missouri area.

New Business Locations Don’t Happen Overnight

This week I had the opportunity to talk with Chris Urban, Branch Manager for AIN Plastics new St. Louis Area Distribution Facility. I asked him what it took to get a new branch opened up. Chris said they started with finding the right location, which turned out to be in the same building as the St. Louis area ThyssenKrupp Materials NA Facility (AIN Plastics parent company since 1993). Then came finding the right equipment which includes a brand new saw for custom cutting orders and finding just the right people with both customer service and previous plastics experience. Chris noted they wanted to hit the ground running from their first day of business. He went on to say:

“We have worked hard in preparation over the past year prior to our opening and we are very excited to see our hard work pay off. ThyssenKrupp Materials NA, AIN Plastics Division did a great deal of research regarding this project. St. Louis is an ideal location to further extend our distribution. From this branch we will be able to provide customer service and quick turn around on orders to Missouri and surrounding states.”

Chris also said he wanted to thank all the AIN people that came to St. Louis from other branches to support his team for the first few days. “Having the support of the entire AIN Plastics company has made starting the new branch a great experience for everyone. We feel truly supported and connected to everyone in the company.”

AIN Offers More than Materials – It’s about Value Added Services

I asked Chris about the services they will be offering. Chris says the new AIN Plastics distribution branch offers a comprehensive list of value added services including:

  • Close tolerance custom cutting of orders
  • Customized Inventory and stocking programs including just in time delivery solutions
  • A vast inventory of sheet and rod materials, some of them highly specialized
  • Professional team with years of plastics industry experience
  • ThyssenKrupp Nationwide Logistics for the best possible delivery

More Manufacturers are Choosing Plastic Due to it’s Many Benefits

Chris talked about how the selection of plastics is changing rapidly due to its value as a lightweight component in manufacturing, it’s ability to be reused and recycled, and it’s cost. Plastics are often an affordable material compared to more traditional resources such as metal, wood, or glass, and they often outlast and outperform those materials. Researchers are always developing even better plastics. “We have a team in place that can help customers sort through and not just find a plastic that will work, but rather the right plastic for their application.”

GPO, Materials for O&P, TeflonPlastics, Plastics, and More!

When it comes to what plastics the St. Louis AIN Plastics branch will stock, Chris gave me a short rundown and said this doesn’t come close to covering all the materials we have:

  • Industrial Plastics
  • High Pressure Laminates
  • Engineering Plastics including
    • ABS
    • Acetal
    • Cast Acrylic
    • Polycarbonate
    • Radel R
    • Semitron
    • Techtron
  • Composite Tooling products
    • RAMPF Styling, Modeling, and Tooling Boards
    • RAMPF Close Contour Paste and Casting Materials
    • Thermoform Materials
    • Epoxy Casting and Laminating Resins
    • Foundry and Pattern Materials
  • Plastic Tubing including Medical and Food Grade
  • FDA compliant plastics for medical and food service industries
  • Silicone
  • Rapid Prototyping
  • DuPont TM Vespel® (AIN Plastics is the Authorized Distributor)

Well, you get the idea, it’s a long list and that’s just the beginning. Chris says the best way to learn more is by visiting the website ainplastics.com or better yet by giving them a call at 877.246.7700.
The AIN Plastics Distribution Facility is located next to the ThyssenKrupp Materials NA facility:

59 Interstate Drive
Wentzville, MO 63385

Hours of operation are Monday – Friday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

For more information regarding the new AIN Plastics St. Louis Area Branch

CONTACT: Christopher Urban

TEL: 877.246.7700

DIRECT: 636-698-6295

FAX: 636-327-4369

EMAIL: christopher.urban@thyssenkrupp.com

That’s it for this week’s news. Look for our other posts where we look not at ourselves, but at the world of plastics. What’s new, what works, why certain plastics are good in specific applications and more. IF you do want to learn more about AIN Plastics and our history check out the “About Us” page on our site.

See you in the blogosphere again soon!

Lisa Anderson

Marketing Manager
ThyssenKrupp Materials, NA
AIN Plastics Division

www.ainplastics.com

 

Join me for an introduction to the world of plastics!

Your Guide to Plastics Past, Present, and Future…

Lisa Anderson, Marketing Manager ThyssenKrupp Materials NA, AIN Plastics Division

It’s hard to believe it’s been over 6 months since I began working at AIN Plastics. Hard to believe because everyday is packed full of lots of projects and lots of things to learn about plastics. There have been new people to meet and old friends to reconnect with, and it’s all been really fun, so the time has truly flown by.

As I’ve gone through these months I developed a hunch. My guess is, when it come to plastics for manufacturing and specialty uses, a lot of you in many industries are in the same boat because there are so many material choices out there. So I’m inviting you to take the journey along with me to learn about plastics. What are plastics, what are the different types, why are they being used more and more, and what plastics will work for your applications. In fact, I hope you’ll share your applications and experiences as well.

While we are at it we’ll take a stroll through plastics history too. I’m a huge history buff so every time I hear about a plastic I like to dig in and find out how it all started. These days plastics seem to surround us, but it wasn’t that long ago we relied on other materials such as wood, metal, and glass for everything from IV ‘bottles’, to baby bottles, cooking utensils, sporting equipment. Hmmm – what were shower curtains before plastic? I’ll get back to you on that one, or if you know, please share! We love comments.

So let’s get started! Today I’d like to stay in the present and take a look at a helpful piece that came across my desk. As we all know there are literally thousands of types of plastic materials out there and more are hitting the market all the time, so anytime there is something that can help you to select the best one for the job we here at AIN will be sure to share it with you. After all, getting the right material helps everyone. The item that came across my desk is in regards to Materials for seals and gaskets.

So let’s start with a couple of questions –  
• Do you make seals or gaskets?
• Do you need your seals and gaskets to be Teflon®?
• Do you have a high temperature application?
• Do you need FDA compliant seal and gasket material?

The most common choices for seals and gaskets are UHMW – PE, Teflon, and PEEK. These are all great options, but another material called Fluorosint® has, until now been a little less known for seals and gaskets however, it is proving to give material specifiers another excellent option for certain higher temperature applications. Two Fluorosint® materials are FDA compliant giving you options for special applications in food or medical applications.

In selecting material for gaskets and seals temperature and pressure are the two biggest factors people generally consider. This chart easily shows where TIVAR® UHMW-PE, Teflon®, Ketron® PEEK, filled and unfilled PTFE, and Fluorosint® and Duratron® fit in as material options. Test results clearly show that Fluorosint® and Duratron® fit very well into a gap left for high temperature and high pressure applications. To make your selection even more exact, Quadrant (manufacturer of Fluorosint®) has developed several Fluorosint® materials (207, HPV, 500) and each was specifically developed with a certain application area in mind.

Below is a Material Selector Guide that covers all of these materials in two easy formats. One simply compares how a product does in relation to heat and pressure. The other compares Fluorosint® to Rulon®, another common material for seals and gaskets. You can also compare the FDA compliant materials.

Material Selector Guide for PTFE Seal and Gasket Material

From materials suitable for average heat and pressure to the highest, this chart will help you to easily cross reference common seal and gasket materials.

 

Chart comparing Rulon to Flurosint

Compare test results of Fluorosint and Rulon and see at a glance what material fits your application.

As we go forward I’ll be looking at each of these products on an individual basis. But, if you see something here you like and you want to know all the details right now, we do have more information available on our website: Fluorosint Product Information. You can also talk to one of people. We have a knowledgeable staff that can help with any questions you may have about seal and gasket materials. Just call 877.246.7700 and you will be connected with the AIN Plastics office nearest you.

If you are along for the journey that’s great!  If seals and gaskets aren’t your thing, no worries, I’ll be talking about all sorts of other materials as we go. In fact, you can sign up and get our posts in your mailbox so you don’t miss the latest.

I hope you find these charts helpful in your search for that just right seal or gasket material. We’ll see you in the blogosphere again very soon!

Lisa Anderson

Marketing Manager
ThyssenKrupp Materials, NA
AIN Plastics Division

Why Should our Business buy Material Through Distributors?

Aren’t I better off Cutting the Middle man out and Going Direct?
In our pop-culture world today we are barraged with phrases like “buy factory direct” or “manufacturer direct cost savings to you”.  Are these cost saving statements even true, or just snazzy marketing terms meant to get ones attention?  Furthermore, is it relevant to your business decisions?  I think its worth a laugh to imagine people traveling miles to stand in line for a gallon of milk outside of a dairy farm.  We don’t really think about distributors on a day to day basis, but companies like Costco and Wal-mart helped make the term “just in time” (JIT) part of our common vocabulary and those organizations, by definition, are distributors. They build relationships with the dairy farmer, the bread baker, the shoe maker. They then buy in bulk and move product you need to places where it’s easy to buy them all in one place. (The one-stop shop.)

Let’s Apply Distribution to the Industrial Market
Let me illustrate these same principles of the use of distribution into the industrial marketplace.  As an example lets consider a sector of the healthcare market. Medical

Medical Plastic Rod Colors

grade plastic shapes are used in the manufacture of surgical instruments and devices, healthcare equipment and the like.  The raw material for medical grade plastics come in a variety of colors, sometimes its for ease of identification purposes between various sizes, sometimes colors may be valued for the aesthetics of an individual brand.  The real problem could begin when a desired color isn’t a common/standard color.  For example we can get a ‘flamingo pink’ produced but it will likely require both a lengthy lead time for the resin and a minimum quantity to extrude the shape.  The volume needed for such customization is usually out of most individual customers reach especially while their end product is still in the proto-type stage.  Now imagine this special color, along with other common ones, used by a large volume OEM and they perceive their best price is to buy direct from the mill.  Let’s also keep in mind the price of material may not really be the same as the cost.  So why might this company consider buying via a distributor instead of direct?

The ‘What-Ifs’ of What Could and Sometimes Does go Wrong

  • There is a resin shortage in the market – it happens! Aside from the pain of the long lead time there’s now no room for error; in quality or inspection, quantity changes to accommodate an increase in demand.
  • Outside forces affecting production or shipping and delivery – power outages, hurricanes or blizzards, fire or flood, etc.
  • The mill accepted the order for the flamingo pink previously, but then there’s a capacity or another manufacturing issue.  Now it’s a triage situation.  Consider what then may happen with the common colors that this same customer needs or for that matter the whole industry is wanting to purchase.

The Benefits of Buying Through a Distributor

  • Manufacturers produce material and they are experts at it!
  • Our manufacturing partners are, and should be, the innovators of new and better plastic materials to the market.
  • Most often manufacturers are single location facilities and many have a limited

    Customers can benefit from the large steady inventory distributors keep. It can mean low minimum orders and shorter lead time to receive your order.

    logistical reach.

  • Tying up space in their facility in order to stock huge amounts of material for customers limits areas they could use to expand operations.
  • The same great application and technical resources are still available to customers through an approved distributor. In fact, sales staff at distributors can also be a great resource for technical advice as they have relationships with multiple customers using the same product.
What Exactly Does a Distributor Do?
  • A distributor ‘supplies’ material so managing and inventing inventory solutions and moving product to customers is what we do – its who we are.
    • Multiple Locations Close to you. ThyssenKrupp AIN Plastics Division has multiple facilities and more people in a local area that can assist customers, and still helps them in meeting vendor reduction goals.

      Distributors often have many locations stocked with product while manufacturers often have a single location. Multiple locations can mean shorter lead time, and product you need in stock.

    • Large Inventory all the Time. We already buy in bulk from all the world’s best manufactures of plastics shapes thus providing the same quality of material.
    • Enjoy the Benefits of low Minimums and JIT. Combining volumes of special material may alleviate large minimums to any one customer.  Keeping material in our warehouse and not the customer’s allows for product to be received only when its needed.  This not only frees up space but inventory dollars that could be used for other business purposes.
    • Less Lead Time, Fewer Headaches. A good stocking distributors who focuses on your particular industry helps ensure a smooth flow of product thus becoming a buffer between the end-user and the bumps in the market such as issues of lead-time, volatile pricing etc.

It Is Called a ‘Supply Chain’ –Let us Be Your Strongest Link!

Lin Poulin
Telemarketing Manager
ThyssenKrupp Materials NA
AIN Plastics Division

Citations

IAPD (international association of plastics distribution) “The Distribution Channel Value”, content provided from NAW (National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors) http://www.iapd.org/distribution value

Know This, marketing tutorial  “Benefits Offered by Channel Members” http://www.knowthis.com/distribution

TexasA&MUniversity, Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution program, http://etidweb.tamu.edu

It’s all About Plastics!

Welcome to thyssenkrupp Engineered Plastics on the Bloggesphere!

I’m Lisa, Marketing Manager here at tkEP and I’ll be your regular host to everything on our blog. I hope you’ll check in often to see what we’ve added. In fact, feel free to subscribe and that way you’ll get updates as they happen. Don’t forget to comment too. We are looking to make this a forum for conversation about what is happening in the plastics industry.

The thyssenkrupp Engineered Plastics History

We began way back in 1970 with the founding of AIN Plastics. This plastics distribution company started with just two employees and a small investment and a big dream. The owners worked hard and saw continual growth of their new company within a short time. A big break came when AIN Plastics became authorized distributors for several premier manufacturers of mechanical plastic mill shapes. In 1993, AIN Plastics was appointed E.I. DuPont’s first national distributor of Vespel® PolyImide stock shapes, one of the industries most sophisticated materials. The ensuing years saw the company continuing to expand its product offerings, including specialty grades of nylon, Delrin®, PTFE, Ensinger’s TECA line, thermoset laminates and more.  In 1996, AIN Plastics joined the ThyssenKrupp Materials NA group (then Thyssen Inc., NA), a move which positioned the company for continued success.

In 2015 ThyssenKrupp underwent a major rebranding with a new logo and renewed presence in their markets across the globe which include steel and metals distribution, aerospace, elevators, and more. In 2016, AIN Plastics followed suit by rebranding and changing their name to thyssenkrupp Engineered Plastics.

Today, thyssenkrupp Engineered Plastics Plastics operates 11 stocking warehouses with sales offices across a major portion of the United States. tkEP also has two machining facilities. The company is structured around local distribution service centers providing fast, efficient delivery to their customers. Our value–added processing system is customer–based, designed to give salespeople the tools they need to quickly and accurately process orders. Finally, our nationwide logistics system allows the company to provide next–day delivery to the majority of customers in North America. As part of our commitment to continuous quality improvement, tkEP Plastics has several ISO 9001:2000 facilities and is in the process of registering all locations to the latest ISO 9001:2000 Quality Management Systems. Geographical and product line expansion ensure that the history of this dynamic company will continue to evolve.

So there you have it – this is who we are and we are ready to have some fun sharing what’s going on so look for more posts!

Until next time!

 

Lisa